Print version ISSN 0187-7372
CARRILLO BARROSO, Ernesto and TAMAYO SAEZ, Manuel. The Formation of Public Preferences about Government Spending: A Comparative Analysis across Different Policy Areas. Frontera norte [online]. 2011, vol.23, n.45, pp. 193-229. ISSN 0187-7372.
The aim of this article is to study public preferences regarding government spending in Spain and other OECD countries. In order to identify some of the factors that contribute to the formation of public preferences on this topic, we have selected four different theories: Free and Cantrils' ambivalence theory, Inglehart's theory of the marginal utility of the welfare state; Wlezien's conception of the public as a thermostat, and Birsdall's theory of individuals as personal utility maximizers. Different policy areas are analyzed, since they are one of the most interesting results of the study, with results showing that the explanatory capacity of each theory varies according to the nature of the policies. The methodological design of the study is based on a triangulation study, using aggregated and individual data as empirical data, time series and cross-sectional analysis for different population groups, national and international data, as well as a combination of opinion studies with objective spending variables and comparative national data.
Keywords : Public opinion; public preferences about government spending; public policies; comparative analysis; OECD.